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Norway v Scotland
Scotland have made a dream start to their Euro 2024 qualifying matches and will attempt to maintain their perfect beginning when they tackle Norway in Oslo on Saturday.
Steve Clarke’s men top Group A after home victories over Georgia and Spain, with that latter success giving the Tartan Army genuine optimism that they can qualify automatically from what looked like a difficult group. Even a point in Norway would go a long way to keeping those hopes burning.
For the hosts, it’s been a mixed start. Without Erling Haaland, they went down 3-0 in Spain in a match that was far more competitive than the final score might suggest, but a draw with Georgia in Tbilisi was a more damaging blow to their top-two hopes.
As for the Norway v Scotland stats, this will be the first meeting for the best part of a decade, with the Scots winning a friendly 1-0 in Oslo in November 2013. The home side won the last competitive meeting of the nations 4-0, though since that was back in 2009, it should have little bearing on the Norway v Scotland bet builder tips this time around.
With victory for the home side surely imperative in this victory, here are the best Norway v Scotland bet builder tips for Saturday’s big game.
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Haaland the man to stop
All eyes on this Norway team will be on striker Erling Haaland, who was conspicuous by his absence from their previous qualifying matches. Fresh from hitting 50+ goals with treble-winning Manchester City this season, the 22-year-old should fancy himself to score in this one given that he also has 21 goals in 23 matches for the national team.
Haaland will be a popular choice on a Norway bet builder given that he has scored in all but two of his last 11 international fixtures since the start of the 2021-22 season. He has netted 14 times for the national team in this period, though curiously both of his blanks have come in home fixtures.
When he came here, he didn’t look like he had gone the Grealish way. If Grealish managed to train for England the first time, he should also manage to do it for us.Norway coach Stale Solbakken discusses Erling Haaland’s readiness after Man City’s treble-winning celebrations
He will not turn a match on his own, though. A penalty box striker, Scotland’s best chance of stopping the burly forward is to cut off his supply, with the focus on this regard on Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard.
Coming off a Premier League season in which he has netted 15 times, Odegaard has never proven to be such a potent threat with Norway. Indeed, with just two goals in 49 matches, it would be wrong to include him on any bet builder tips when it comes to scoring. Indeed, with just nine national team assists, he is a player who will have to step up for the sake of his nation.
Norway team news
Norway will have all their big hitters available for this encounter, with Haaland and Odegaard key in this regard. For any Norway bet builder, it is worth noting that only Haaland and fellow striker Alexander Sorloth, who is unlikely to start given the Man City star’s presence, have double figures in international goals, with only Southampton’s Mohamed Elyounoussi having struck more than five otherwise.
One player familiar with the Scotland team will be Brentford centre-back Kristoffer Ajer, who will hope to win his 28th cap. The defender previously played in Scotland for Celtic and could find himself head-to-head with former club-mate Ryan Christie.
Clarke expects Norway pressure
Scotland manager Steve Clarke won’t admit it, but he will feel that his side are perhaps just a couple of good games away from Euro 2024 qualification. After overcoming Spain 2-0 at home in March, the Scots find themselves with a golden opportunity to reach a second successive European Championships final.
Clarke is characteristically cautious on his side’s chances, noting the stylistic difference that Norway have compared to Spain and the challenge that will bring his team.
As we always do, we concentrate on ourselves. We prepare properly for the game, we respect our opponents. We play Norway the team, and hopefully Scotland the team are a little bit better on the night.Steve Clarke explains why Scotland won’t be focusing only on Norway’s Erling Haaland
“It’s a different challenge, it’s an away game. Norway are a different team from Spain, they play a different way,” he explained.
“They put you under a little bit more pressure maybe. Spain will pass the ball and pass the ball and try to win the game with possession. Norway can play with the ball because they have good ball players, but they can also be quite direct as well.”
For a Scotland bet builder, this is worth bearing in mind, with Clarke hinting at the physical challenge that could force his side into a game with more fouls or cards shown.
Scotland team news
Scotland are notably without leading centre-forward Che Adams for this encounter, with the Southampton striker missing out due to injury along with Celtic pair David Turnbull and Anthony Ralston, neither of whom were likely starters.
In Adams’ absence, Lyndon Dykes is likely to lead the line, with the QPR striker aiming to be a menace with his physical attributes. A return of eight goals in 28 games is not frightening, but he is a player who nevertheless should be respected. He rarely lasts 90 minutes, which should be considered for your Scotland bet builder.
Angus Gunn is liable to keep his place in goal, having not conceded a goal in either of the two caps he has won.
Steve Clarke will look to the midfield to be his powerhouse, with Ryan Christie, Billy Gilmour and John McGinn all enjoying strong form at the end of the Premier League season.
Norway v Scotland Cheat Sheet
Erling Haaland‘s shot stats are absolutely sensational for his national side, with less than 3.5 shots per 90 equating to over 2 shots on target. The Norwegian striker is certain to have plenty of chances, and with Norway desperately needing a win here, expect him to perhaps exceed his average in both shots and shots on target.
Lyndon Dykes is equally shot happy, and also a good shout, but with John McGinn likely to be picking up space around the edge of the box, he could well rack up some good shooting numbers tonight, particularly if Norway’s need to win leaves them exposed on the counter-attack, with McGinn and Christie looking to feed off Dykes’ hold-up play.
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Norway v Scotland bet builder tips
Norway v Scotland
Haaland is quite simply the most prolific striker in world football at present, and should he get a chance, expect him to take it.
The Manchester City man, as detailed previously, has scored 14 times in his last 11 internationals, so with odds of him finding the net available at evens, he is surely a must for any Norway bet builder.
Scotland have defended well in recent matches, but they have not come up against a centre-forward of Haaland’s calibre. Against Spain, for example, it was Joselu who led the line.
Haaland scored 52 times for Man City in just 53 outings in a blistering debut season in England, so expect him to give it one big final push in what is a vital game for Norway.
With Che Adams out injured, Clarke is liable to use McGinn close to his centre forward, who is likely to be Lyndon Dykes.
The Aston Villa midfielder is always good for a Scotland bet builder given that he plays his more attacking role for his country and is more restrained at club level. Indeed, with 16 international goals, there is little doubt that he is the biggest goal threat the visitors have.
He has mustered a shot on target in eight of his last 12 matches for Scotland, and with Adams missing, there will be an onus on his to provide support to the lone forward in this game.
The final Norway v Scotland prediction is that the match will see plenty of cards.
Referee for this one is Slovenian official Matej Jug, who is an official who has a reputation of being quick to show cards. During the 2022/23 season, Jug showed a staggering 146 cards across just 26 fixtures.
Remarkably, there were only two matches in which he showed fewer than four cards, both of which were in European matches.
His sole international assignment was a Nations League encounter between Portugal and the Czech Republic in which he booked six players.
With much on the line in this game, a feisty encounter should be predicted and with a referee who loves to be the centre of attention, this looks he safest of Norway v Scotland bet builder tips.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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